Nissan's GT-R does an impressive job of using monster power and tech to compensate for its considerable mass, but one California speed shop's decided that Godzilla could benefit from a radical course of liposuction anyway.
Hot Rods & Hobbies in Signal Hill may have a rather old-fashioned name, but their latest project is anything but traditional. Three months ago they started by filleting a GT-R. Replacing the doors, hood, rockers and several other panels with carbon fiber equivalents was straightforward. Crafting some custom interior panels from the filament-backed resin wasn't too difficult, either. The fun part was when Scott Bonowski and his ambitious crew went ahead and cut off the roof, then fitted a carbon-fiber replacement — an exacting undertaking for a car which needs to remain very solid and strong.
The roof was molded by AMS, which claims no loss of structural rigidity with the transplant. Most of the other body panels were sourced from Mine's. All that glorious weaving was then painted to allow the car to pass for near-normal (at least for a GT-R); Bonowski claims that getting the paint up to OEM specs was among the most difficult parts of the job. The engine came in for its share of upgrades from the Mine's catalog as well and is now claimed to crank out an even 600hp. Tuning the VR38DETT required two visits from the Japanese company's head engine guru. Some upgraded suspension pieces, big brakes and Mine's wheels were the finishing details.
Boosting power until the VQ block shatters is only one way to make a faster Godzilla; it's gratifying to see someone take a more en-lightened approach.